After an exchange of legal letters, Golden Fried Chicken — the owner of Chicken Licken — applied to the high court for an interdict, and CEO Chantal Sombonos-van Tonder filed an affidavit deploring the Plettenberg Bay bistro’s “combative and dismissive” attitude.
But George Frost, the owner, said he decided to change the restaurant’s name to Sol Kitchen to avoid “unnecessary and costly litigation”.
He said Chicken Licken’s strategy had been to intimidate restaurant owners with aggressive letters and litigation demanding that they cease to trade and disclose their earnings so an appropriate royalty payment could be calculated.
“[Chicken Licken] obviously has deeper pockets than [us], and even though we have an exceptionally strong case, a victory for us could cost us our entire business and livelihood,” he said.
“Very few if any small business like ours can survive a legal onslaught by large, economically powerful, multibillion-rand corporates like [Chicken Licken].
“This is a frivolous and vexatious ... lawsuit, not undertaken to be won necessarily but to intimidate us. It is a misuse and abuse of our legal system and constitutes nothing else than lawfare.”